An accountant and intrepid cyclist is setting off on a solo bike ride from the top of Spain down to the Costa del Sol in Andalucia.

Simon Hood from Brighton will be taking the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander today, then cycling the 900-plus miles to Malaga over the next three weeks.

The 37-year-old Albion fan is planning to average 50 miles a day and will be wearing a Dark Star Brewing Co cycle jersey in the hope that any other Sussex ales fans he encounters along the way will give him an encouraging shout-out.

Mr Hood said: “I’m feeling increasingly destructible each year but an upcoming period between jobs means I have the chance to take on a physical challenge while I still can.

“Spain was the obvious choice as being engaged to a girl from Catalunya has meant many visits there over the last few years and given me a strong affection for the country.”

While his Spanish friends are concerned for his state of mind in even contemplating the trip in the fierce midsummer heat, Mr Hood has spent the past few months getting tour ready, using Ditchling Beacon as a regular training ride.

As he embarks on his journey, readers will be able to follow Simon’s progress – and send messages of support – on his Argus blog, Tyres and Tapas.

Read about how he copes with potential problems of too much (or not enough) luggage, mechanical breakdown, saddle sores, riding on the right (or wrong) side of the road, Spanish traffic symbols, limited language skills and the thousand other challenges now facing him at spanish_cycling_blog/.